Health Ministry Rushes Expert Team To Maharashtra After State Reports Its First Zika Virus Case


New Delhi: In the midst of the continuing Covid-19 pandemic, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has dispatched a multi-disciplinary team to Maharashtra to examine a Zika virus case and help the Uddhav Thackeray government in managing an outbreak. 

The Zika case was discovered in Pune after a few cases were detected in the state of Kerala. 

On Sunday, Maharashtra confirmed the first Zika virus infection in the state. On Sunday, health officials reported a 50-year-old lady from Pune’s Purandar region tested positive for Chikungunya. Officials from the state have urged residents not to be alarmed and to take the necessary safeguards. 

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The first Zika virus case has led the Union Health Ministry to dispatch a three-member expert team in the midst of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. It is made up of a public health expert from the Regional Director’s office in Pune, a gynaecologist from Lady Hardinge Medical College in New Delhi, and an entomologist from the National Institute of Malaria Research (NIMR) at the Indian Council of Medical Research in New Delhi. 

The specialists will analyse the current state of the Zika virus in the state and check if the Union Health Ministry’s Action Plan for Zika Management is being adequately executed. It will also make recommendations for critical public health initiatives to combat Zika. 

From the beginning of July, a lot of cases of fever had been reported in Belsar village, Purandar tehsil. 

Three of the five samples at the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune turned out to be positive for Chikungunya. 

Until the Pune case came to light, only Kerala had recorded cases of Zika virus infection this year. 63 cases of Zika have been reported in Kerala so far. Zika is spread by Aedes mosquitos. Dengue and Chikungunya are also spread through them. 


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